A Lesson in Importance from George Washington

Time is in short supply in our modern world, along with a dwindling supply of money. This is painfully obvious to most people, but what many people seem to ignore is that family time is being eaten away too. There is a simple give and take formula for this: if you work extra hours to pay for fancier things (i.e. new car, expensive electronics, global connectivity, pricey house, etc.) then less time is available to truly enjoy family, friends, and life itself. The result of this global, consumer lifestyle is that most people drift further away from the ones they love and their personal reality, even as they stroke faster to keep their heads above our rising global waters.

My family has just spent the last week touring Virginia to study more on the Revolutionary War and Colonial time period. Stepping back in time some, it has become obvious just how crippling this lack of interest in things closer to ourselves is to us as people and as a society. Global life is only something to be tackled if a person's own house is in order. I'm not suggesting that everyone stop all the modern conveniences and connections. I am suggesting that people stop and look at what is right beside them though. Most likely, it is a wife or husband, son or daughter, brother or sister, or fellow firefighter or dear friend, whom you are with all the time, but barely truly know.

If you ever need help in life, your fancy computer-phone and expensive SUV won't come save you, so why spend more of your working days earning money to pay for things? Instead, change your thinking. Pay off a vehicle and keep it. You can work fewer hours because you won't have to earn extra money for extravagance sake. Those hours are precious moments you will never get back when your kids are older and your spouse may be gone. But I guarantee you that if you sacrifice fancy things and simply take the time to enjoy your family and friends you will never grow older and say, "I'm sorry I didn't spend more time at work."

George Washington, the humble farmer, had it correct when he became the phenomenal young military leader he was and helped found our fledgling country. His sentiments were, "I can truly say I had rather be at Mount Vernon with a friend or two about me, than to be attended at the seat of government by the officers of state and the representatives of every power in Europe."